Reporter’s Notebook: Is Facebook Ruining Your Class Reunion?
UNDATED – I was reading an article a couple of week’s ago about how Facebook is ruining class reunions. Last weekend I had a chance to put that theory to the test for myself. It was my class’s 25th reunion (yes, if you do the math I graduated in 1987), and it was also my town’s all-school reunion.
First, I’ll say as the person who was put in charge of the task of tracking down the current mailing address for each member of my class (by each I mean all 20 of us), Facebook was valuable resource.
As for the reunion itself, I’ll admit that all of my old classmates that showed-up are already friends of mine on the social networking site. Which meant, even though I hadn’t actually seen some of them since the day we were handed our diplomas, I still knew a lot about them, like: where they’re living, where they work, how many kids they have, and their marital status. So, at least in my experience, people who are on Facebook seem to be more likely to attend their class reunion.
And then there’s the other intangibles of a class reunion that you just can’t get by logging on to a website, like touring the old school. I’ll tell you it sure felt a lot smaller now — partly because I’ve grown up, and partly because it actually is smaller. The high school I went to has been torn down and replaced with a newer model.
I also was fortunate enough to run into my kindergarden teacher, Mr. Olson. Even though it’s been 37 years since little Jimmy Maurice sat in his classroom, when he ran into me in the hallway he knew exactly who I was, and he proceeded to pull out and old class photo with me in it. I know my chances of stumbling across someone from my past are greater searching Facebook on the World Wide Web, but I doubt Mr. Olson has a Facebook account.
So I guess my take on the whole debate is this; Facebook has it’s place in this world, but a keypad and a computer screen will never replace the opportunity to actually go home and reconnect with old friends and classmates — at least not for me.
Have you had a class reunion recently? What’s you’re thoughts on this topic?